05 November 2009

Haphazard Holiday Part Two

Oysterville & Mudflats

We drove along WA-103 towards the northern tip of the Long Beach Peninsula. In Ocean Park, we crossed over to I Street which runs along the western side of the Peninsula. According to Google's map on the Awesome Phone, the road reached all the way to Leadbetter State Park. Instead, about two miles south of the park, we had to stop here:

It was a large wrought iron gate, with lovely curls and spirals and delicate leaf details.

It was elaborate and beautiful and very definitely blocking our way. There was no name, no address, no markings of any kind. The only evidence of a resident was a small keypad on one side of the drive and a camera on the other.

We launched into speculations as to what would justify such a barrier. Celebrity, I said. Writer, JD said. We certainly agreed that it was someone who wanted absolute privacy.

I wouldn't have been nearly so curious had it been a plain, logging road-style gate. Since it was so forbidding and ostentatious though, I was determined to find out what was behind it. I didn't have much in the way of cell service so I had to wait to until later in the day to Google it.

We continued on our (altered) way, meandering around the mysterious property and got back onto WA-103 to try again to find Leadbetter State Park.

We saw two more similar gates: a relatively plain one on the east side of the road and this one on the west side, complete with lions sejant on either side.

The lion gate also had some incredible ornamentation.

Having taken a blacksmithing class, I am very aware of the skill level required to produce this kind of work. Such craftsmanship was wonderful to see.

We finally reached the park and decided to trying walking a bit. My mobility is still a little limited so we didn't go very far but a trail at the north end of the parking lot looked accessible.

We followed the trail as it curved around to the inland side of the park where it opened up to a shallow beach and mudflats and Willapa Bay. There were several herons strung out along the flats, standing tall and graceful in the shallows.

They kept an eye on us and as soon as we got within 50 yards or so of each one, it would spread it's wings and fly off, first out over the bay and then back over our heads and disappear behind the trees.

Postscript: After we were back in cell range, I searched around for a bit and found out that the mystery property belongs to the Espy Foundation and is a retreat for artists and writers. On their Oysterville page, there is some interesting (if rather depressing) history of the area and the obliteration of the oyster beds.

Next time on the Haphazard Holiday - Cranberries!


  1. Hi Kate, I love your blog! I love your humor and your photos. Did I miss the names of the goat twins? Goats are so funny, you will have plenty of content just from them alone.

    I will be back. You're in my RSS feed now!

    Luci from DuhBe

  2. Thanks for reading, Luci, and for your comment!

    That's right, I never said we settled on names for The Twins. They are Sir Robin The-Not-So-Brave (the one that is more shy) and Sir Lancelot (the one with the curly ears since Lance was the pretty one who got the girl).

    We may have to rename Spike if we are going with the Monty Python/Holy Grail theme though....


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